2017 Lexus RC 350: Our View

The 2017 Lexus RC 350 doesn’t demeanour any reduction impassioned now than it did when a radically styled coupe went on sale a few years ago. It’s been kept uninformed and rival over a years with new engine and underline updates, of that I’ve sampled roughly each version. The latest RC 350 to hurl by a Cars.com offices for examination is maybe my favorite, though, since of several options it didn’t have.

At $48,289 as-tested, this RC was one of a some-more affordable Lexus coupes we’ve driven. It was amiable not usually since of a affordability, yet also since it didn’t have a discretionary navigation system, with a nonsensical Lexus Remote Touchpad, or a ride-quality-ruining F Sport Package. Read a examination of a 2016 here; it’s not all that opposite from a 2017, detached from how it was equipped.

The RC 350 is one of 4 coupe versions of a RC and a many absolute of a 3 more-modest ones in that organisation (the no-excuses, V-8-powered RC F tops a range). Specifications are listed alone for a RC 200t and a RC 300. Compare all 4 of them side by side here.

Get a Base Multimedia System

Lexus’ Remote Touchpad interface replaces a RC’s customary multimedia complement dial controller (as good as a mouselike device found on many other Lexus models). Like a laptop mousepad, we appropriate with your fingertips to pierce a cursor on a categorical multimedia complement for audio, navigation and phone control. Most RCs I’ve tested have this, and it isn’t quite easy to use while driving. It’s easy to trigger a touchpad even when we don’t wish to, and swipes don’t always outcome in a elite cursor movement.

Test cars are customarily installed with options, so we was astounded (more like thrilled) to see a bottom multimedia complement and customary dial controller. You simply stagger it from Radio to Display to Setup, etc., and your preference is usually a click divided rather than carrying to drag diagonally or consider about where a idol is located regulating a touchpad system.

If you’ve ever used a dial controller like BMW’s iDrive or Mercedes-Benz’s Comand, a RC’s bottom multimedia complement will feel informed to you. Even if we haven’t, it’s easy to collect up. On a downside, a controller isn’t flashy in any singular approach — it’s still a bottom system, after all — and a shade isn’t as high-resolution or filled with as many smartphone formation facilities as RCs with navigation.

The RC lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, my elite phone formation complement in new cars, yet during slightest a customary multimedia complement has new-for-2017 Scout GPS integration, where we download a navigation app that displays on a RC’s categorical media screen.

The RC isn’t really phone-friendly in another regard: My mother and we both have plus-sized iPhones in vast cases, and there’s no open cubby to reason them. Both were too vast to fit in a cupholders. The doorway pockets are tough to get during while seated, and for a newcomer to entrance a core console is brazen to a driver. For a good expostulate with that special someone, we should possibly get smaller phones or leave them during home — a phone, not that special someone, yet a latter would free adult a mark for your phone in a newcomer seat…

Don’t Get a F Sport Package

OK, maybe it’s not as elementary as “Don’t do this,” yet a F Sport Package groups a performance-oriented adaptive cessation with competition seats, a some-more assertive Sport Plus pulling mode and a sharp instrument cluster. The F Sport amplifies a RC’s pulling fun in corners, yet we don’t consider it’s as enchanting as a BMW 4 Series M Sport, that improved balances competition and comfort. The F Sport’s float never feels relaxed, and a automobile is on corner even yet a suspension’s trust is adjustable.

So that leaves us with a bottom suspension, that is both ideally bearable and parsimonious in a opening approach though being overly twitchy or harsh. A non-F Sport is an bland automobile that can take a outing into a city though rattling your fillings lax on pothole-ridden streets and still be gentle for a weekend getaway.

However, while a discretionary 19-inch wheels with Dunlop SP Sport Maxx summer tires positively demeanour good on a RC 350, tire sound tormented a interior. There were shrill thwacks over bumps even when we couldn’t feel them in a chair of your pants.


If we get into a RC 350 meditative it’s going to expostulate as full-throttle as it looks, you’ll need to reduce your expectations a smidge. The RC 350’s 306-horsepower V-6 has a vast assign pulling a 3,700-pound coupe around, and this non-turbocharged V-6 compares closer to BMW and Audi’s turbo four-cylinder cars in opening (and price) than it does to their turbocharged six-cylinder counterparts.

Lexus says a rear-wheel-drive RC 350 can go from zero-to-60 mph in 5.8 seconds, that is a few ticks slower than both a BMW and a Audi. BMW estimates a time of 5.5 seconds for a turbocharged-four-cylinder 430i with an involuntary delivery and rear-wheel drive, while an Audi A5 2.0T with an involuntary delivery and all-wheel expostulate is rated to get there in 5.6 seconds. Mercedes-Benz’s C300 coupe with rear-wheel expostulate hits 60 mph in a manufacturer-estimated 5.9 seconds. Compare a RC 350 with a competitors here.

The RC 350’s engine creates beguiling whooshing, rush-of-air sounds, yet we never feel a rush of acceleration — partly since a powertrain programming feels economy-minded. There are Eco, Normal and Sport modes, yet Normal is some-more like an Eco mode with delayed stifle response and delivery tuning that’s discerning to upshift and delayed to downshift. Slap it into Sport mode, and there’s usually a tiny boost in stifle and delivery crispness; a automobile doesn’t renovate into a opposite animal. But we consider that’s OK for this car; it goes and it stops, and that will be copiousness for most.

Where a RC 350 has 306 hp, a RC 200t has 241 hp and a RC 300 has 255 hp. The 200t is rear-drive usually and a RC 300 is all-wheel-drive only. The RC 350 offers both, yet a AWD comes with a six-speed involuntary delivery instead of a eight-speed.


The RC 350’s crashworthiness is top-rated in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests. A backup camera is standard. Optional reserve facilities embody blind mark monitoring with back cross-traffic warning and brazen collision warning with involuntary puncture braking, a latter of that warranted a center rating of modernized in IIHS testing.

In a Market

The standout aspect of a RC 350 is how furious it looks compared with a medium designs of a BMW 4 Series and Audi A5. The RC 350’s starting cost of $43,985 with end assign is allied to a 2018 Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T ($43,775), 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 coupe ($43,575) and 2018 BMW 430i ($43,395). My conservatively versed exam car, for $48,289, had a Premium Package ($1,240) that combined exhilarated and ventilated seats and blind mark monitoring with back cross-traffic alert. The automobile also combined adaptive journey control and brazen collision warning with involuntary puncture braking for $500 and a moonroof for $1,100, and a few diverse features.

If styling is what floats your boat, a RC 350 is a ideally efficient package — even as a mid-range model, as my exam automobile was. If we wish something for curvy backroads or an occasional lane day, you’d be barking adult a wrong tree with a RC.

As equipped, it isn’t a many enchanting automobile to drive. we don’t consider that’s a problem, however, since a RC feels so ample adult front and has good visibility. This RC 350 offers a relaxed, ethereal knowledge ideally matched for resting drives down a tree-lined backroad highway.

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